What is Thrive?

Thrive is the assessment that we use in school to identify gaps in a child’s emotional development, where their life experiences have not equipped them with the tools to regulate their emotions. We can fill those gaps, through activities based predominantly around play and the creative arts. All students at Sandside Lodge benefit from the Thrive approach.

How might it look?


What support do we offer?

Sandside Lodge School offers a range of strategies and resources to students to help them THRIVE and be in the best place emotionally to access learning. Our intention is to support and enable students to recognise their own emotional needs and be able to manage them successfully. Providing our students with arts and play based experiences, to help them work through attachment issues and trauma and therefore help emotionally regulate themselves, will in turn enable them to access learning in a calm and focused manner. Trained staff use observation, knowledge and understanding alongside parental knowledge to assess and build an action plan which identifies and help’s bridge gaps in the students emotional wellbeing.  

Thrive Group Work – Sandside Lodge School

The Thrive Group sessions will run on alternate weeks; every Monday afternoon for the boys and then girls groups. These sessions last one hour and are aimed at students with a diagnosis of Autism who have attachment/trauma needs. 

The Boys’ group is made of 4 students from Stage 2 to Sixth Form. 

The Girls’ group is made up of 5 students from Stage 3 to  Sixth Form. 

The sessions build upon ‘What it is to be autistic?’ Students develop their team building and social skills, whilst strengthening their emotional development.  Typical sessions will involve, individual tasks & small groups work, with fun activities, including; music and arts and crafts, dance and play

Meet the Team

There are four trained Thrive practitioners at Sandside School.

Practitioners are specifically trained to support students 1:1 in therapeutic sessions as well as with whole groups. Teachers are also trained to assess and deliver Thrive wellbeing sessions to their classes.

The activities are usually play and art based tasks. The emphasis is on providing positive, descriptive feedback to children. Activities are based on the arts, unleashing children’s creative talents and the ideas of cause and effect and problem solving.

What is the impact for our students?

By working in this extremely focused way, the activities are designed to promote self-esteem, students to become more resilient and resourceful, form trusting and rewarding relationships, become more compassionate and empathic and learn strategies to support them to overcome difficulties and setbacks. It really makes a difference to their social and emotional abilities. The action plans are reviewed regularly to see the progress students have made.

What are the guiding principles of the Thrive approach?

There are four guiding principles of the Thrive Approach:

  • Every child is a unique person, constantly developing and learning in different ways and at different rates, each with his/her own abilities, talents and potential to be
  • Children’s healthy development, emotional well-being and learning are crucially dependent upon, and promoted through, positive relationships.
  • Children flourish when they are confident, self-assured, capable and resilient.
  • Children thrive in enabling environments, in which their individual development, learning experiences and needs are understood,
  • responded to and supported through strong partnerships with parents/carers.

What is Thrive based upon?

Healthy development means a solid base. When there are gaps in a child’s emotional development due to issues around attachment, the base becomes unstable sometimes causing trauma. The Thrive approach helps with this.


For more information

The Thrive Approach Homepage
What really, is Empathy
What are the VRF’s and why are they so important in Thrive
What is the Drama Triangle and how can we change a situation
A bit of Joy?
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